América de Cali overcame a hard test in Lucas González’s debut as team coach. Despite playing more than half a game with one less player, they beat Deportes Tolima 1-0 at the Pascual Guerrero.
There was a lot of expectation for what America was going to show under the command of Lucas González. From the outset, it was 4-2-3-1, with Carlos Darwin Quintero out and without Edwin Cardona, who has just arrived as a reinforcement. The two figures of the team, in theory, watched the game in the stands.
Juan Cruz Real returned to Cali, now as manager of Tolima, with his traditional scheme of three defenders, true to his style, but fighting for possession of the ball.
América’s first dangerous arrival was with Suárez, a mid-distance shot that went wide of the goal, at minute seven.
América tried again at minute 14, with Mena recovering a ball in the middle of the field and crossing the ball to Volpi, who managed to control it. Tolima scared the local goal until minute 22, a cross from the side and Lucumí had the chance, before Soto left.
The scarlets would open the scoring with a great pass from goalkeeper Soto to Mena, almost from goal to goal, winning the opponent’s back and crossing the ball to Facundo Suárez, who scored the goal at minute 25.
The still ball was the weapon for Tolima to start generating danger. Haydar had a clear goal opportunity at minute 29, a header and Soto barely managed to get it out, since he was going without much speed, but with precision.
Things got complicated for América due to the offense by Maicol Valencia, due to a foul on Junior Hernández. The VAR called the center back and changed the decision, showing the youth the red card, who left the field in tears, but with the support of his teammates and fans.
At the end of the first half, América had the second, in a counterattack by Barrios, a pass for Sarmiento and when defining, Volpi saved.
González moved the bench and sent Quintero to the field, taking out Barrios, delaying Portilla to cover the back. At minute 62, the center-back sanctioned a penalty in favor of América, but the VAR reviewed the play and the judge decided to reverse it, given the non-existence of contact in Hernández’s hand.
Tolima and América took out to leave spaces to counterattack and hurt their rival, but neither took advantage of the spaces. It was not until minute 72 that the visit had a chance to score, before Arango’s qualification for Gil, who went ahead, being canceled by the line.
The final minutes failed to see Tolima’s intention, advancing their lines and looking for an equalizer, especially in the air game, where Gil had another clear one, but Soto saved it, despite being out of place. Around minute 87, Guzmán’s goal was disallowed, outside Gil’s previous place.